IFRS 16, policies, lessee disclosures, restoration and maintenance, airline

International Consolidated Airlines Group, S.A. – Annual report – 31 December 2021

Industry: airline

2 Significant accounting policies (extract)

Property, plant and equipment (extract)

d Leases

The Group leases various aircraft, properties, equipment and other assets. The lease terms of these assets are consistent with the determined useful economic life of similar assets within property, plant and equipment.

At inception of a contract, the Group assesses whether a contract is, or contains, a lease. A contract is, or contains, a lease if the contract conveys the right to control the use of an identified tangible asset for a period of time in exchange for consideration. The Group has elected not to apply such consideration where the contract relates to an intangible asset, in which case payments associated with the contract are expensed as incurred.

Leases are recognised as a ROU asset and a corresponding lease liability at the date at which the leased asset is available for use by the Group.

Right of use assets

At the lease commencement date a ROU asset is measured at cost comprising the following: the amount of the initial measurement of the lease liability; any lease payments made at or before the commencement date less any lease incentives received; and any initial direct costs. In addition, at the lease commencement date a ROU asset will incorporate unavoidable restoration costs to return the asset to its original condition, for which a corresponding amount is recognised within Provisions. The ROU asset is depreciated over the shorter of the asset’s useful life and the lease term on a straight-line basis. If ownership of the ROU asset transfers to the Group at the end of the lease term or the cost reflects the exercise of a purchase option, depreciation is calculated using the estimated useful life of the asset.

Lease liabilities

Lease liabilities are initially measured at their present value, which includes the following lease payments: fixed payments (including in-substance fixed payments), less any lease incentives receivable; variable lease payments that are based on an index or a rate; amounts expected to be payable by the Group under residual value guarantees; the exercise price of a purchase option if the Group is reasonably certain to exercise that option; payments of penalties for terminating the lease, if the lease term reflects the Group exercising that option; and payments to be made under reasonably certain extension options.

The lease payments are discounted using the interest rate implicit in the lease. The interest rate implicit in the lease is the discount rate that, at the inception of the lease, causes the aggregate present value of the minimum lease payments and the unguaranteed residual value to be equal to the fair value of the leased asset and any initial indirect costs of the lessor. For aircraft leases these inputs are either observable in the contract or readily available from external market data. The initial direct costs of the lessor are considered to be immaterial. If the interest rate implicit in the lease cannot be determined, the Group entity’s incremental borrowing rate is used.

Each lease payment is allocated between the principal and finance cost. The finance cost is charged to the Income statement over the lease period so as to produce a constant periodic rate of interest on the remaining balance of the lease liability for each period. After the commencement date, the amount of lease liabilities is increased to reflect the accretion of interest and reduced for the lease payments made.

The carrying amount of lease liabilities is remeasured if there is a modification of the lease contract, a re-assessment of the lease term (specifically in regard to assumptions regarding extension and termination options) and changes in variable lease payments that are based on an index or a rate.

The Group has elected not to recognise ROU assets and lease liabilities for short-term leases that have a lease term of 12 months or less and those leases of low-value assets. Payments associated with short-term leases and leases of low-value assets are recognised on a straight-line basis as an expense in the Income statement. Short-term leases are leases with a lease term of 12 months or less, that do not contain a purchase option. Low-value assets comprise IT equipment and small items of office furniture.

The Group is exposed to potential future increases in variable lease payments based on an index or rate, which are not included in the lease liability until they take effect. When adjustments to lease payments based on an index or rate take effect, the lease liability is re-assessed and adjusted against the ROU asset. Extension options are included in a number of aircraft, property and equipment leases across the Group and are reflected in the lease payments where the Group is reasonably certain that it will exercise the option. The Group is also exposed to variable lease payments based on usage or revenue generated over a defined period. Such variable lease payments are expensed to the Income statement as incurred.

The Group regularly uses sale and lease transactions to finance the acquisition of aircraft. Each transaction is assessed as to whether it meets the criteria within IFRS 15 ‘Revenue from contracts with customers’ for a sale to have occurred. If a sale has occurred, then the associated asset is de-recognised and a ROU asset and lease liability are recognised. The ROU asset recognised is based on the proportion of the previous carrying amount of the asset that is retained. Any gain or loss is restricted to the amount that relates to the rights that have been transferred to the counter-party to the transaction. Where a sale has not occurred, the asset is retained on the balance sheet within Property, plant and equipment and an asset financed liability recognised equal to the financing proceeds. The principal criteria for assessing whether a sale has occurred or not, is whether the contract contains the option, at the discretion of the Group, to repurchase the aircraft over the lease term; with the existence of such a repurchase option resulting in a sale having been deemed not to have occurred, and; if no such repurchase option exists, then a sale is deemed to have occurred.

Cash flow presentation

Lease payments are presented as follows in the Consolidated cash flow statement: the proceeds received from sale and leaseback transactions are presented within cash flows from investing activities; the repayments of the principal element of lease liabilities are presented within cash flows from financing activities; the payments of the interest element of lease liabilities are included within cash flows from operating activities; and the payments arising from variable elements of a lease, short-term leases and low-value assets are presented within cash flows from operating activities.

COVID-19 related rent concessions

On May 28, 2020, the IASB issued ‘COVID-19 Related Rent Concessions – amendments to IFRS 16 Leases’. The EU subsequently adopted the amendment on October 9, 2020. The amendment provides a practical expedient for lessees, up to June 30, 2021, not to assess whether a COVID-19 related rent concession is a lease modification. On March 31, 2021, the IASB extended the period for the application of these concessions through to June 30, 2022. The EU subsequently adopted the amendment on August 31, 2021. The extended amendment is effective for annual reporting periods commencing on or after April 1, 2021 and the Group has elected to adopt this amendment for the year to December 31, 2021.

Lessor accounting

From time to time the Group will lease, to third parties, specific assets, including certain property, plant and equipment. On inception of the lease, the Group determines whether each lease is a finance lease or an operating lease.

In order to make this determination, the Group assesses whether the lease transfers substantially all of the risks and rewards of ownership to the lessee. Factors in making this assessment include, but are not limited to, whether the lease term is for the major part of the economic life of the underlying asset and whether the underlying asset transfers to the lessee or the lessee has the option to purchase the underlying asset at the end of the lease. Where substantially all of the risks and rewards of ownership have been transferred, then the lease is recorded as a finance lease, otherwise it is recorded as an operating lease.


Provisions are made when an obligation exists for a present liability in respect of a past event and where the amount of the obligation can be reliably estimated and where it is considered probable that an outflow of economic resources will be required to settle the obligation. Where it is not considered probable that there will be an outflow of economic resources required to settle the obligation, the Group does not recognise a provision, but discloses the matter as a contingent liability. The Group assesses whether each matter is probable of there being an outflow of economic resources to settle the obligation at each reporting date.

Employee leaving indemnities and other employee provisions are recorded for flight crew who, meeting certain conditions, have the option of being placed on reserve or of taking early retirement. The Group is obligated to remunerate these employees until they reach the statutory retirement age. The calculation is performed by independent actuaries using the projected unit credit method.

Other employee-related provisions are recognised for direct expenditures of business reorganisation such as severance payments (restructuring provisions) where plans are sufficiently detailed and well advanced, and where appropriate communication to those affected has been undertaken at the balance sheet date. Restoration and handback provisions arising on inception of a lease are recognised as a provision with a corresponding amount recognised as part of the ROU asset. Any subsequent change in estimation relating to such costs are reflected in the ROU asset. Maintenance and handback provisions that occur through usage or through the passage of time are recognised as such activity occurs, with a corresponding expense recorded in the Income statement. Any subsequent change in estimation are recognised in the Income statement.

The method for determining legal claims provisions is determined on a claim-by-claim basis. Where a claim includes a significant population of items, the weighted average provision is estimated by determining all potential outcomes and the probability of their occurrence. Where a claim relates to a single item, then the Group determines the associated provision by applying the most likely outcome giving consideration to alternative outcomes. Where an individual claim is significant, the disclosure of quantitative information is restricted to the extent that it does not prejudice the outcome of the claim. If the effect is material, expected future cash flows are discounted using a rate that reflects, where appropriate, the risks specific to the provision. Where discounting is used, the effect of unwinding the discount rate is recognised as a finance cost in the Income statement.

Critical accounting estimates, assumptions and judgements (extract)

Estimates (extract)

e Engineering and other aircraft costs

At December 31, 2021, the Group recognised €1,832 million in respect of maintenance, restoration and handback provisions (2020: €1,588 million). Information on movements on the provision is disclosed in note 26. The Group has a number of contracts with service providers to replace or repair engine parts and for other maintenance checks. These agreements are complex and generally cover a number of years. Provisions for maintenance, restoration and handback are made based on the best estimate of the likely committed cash outflow. In determining this best estimate, the Group applies significant judgement as to the level of forecast costs expected to be incurred when the aircraft is returned to the lessor. The assumptions of this significant judgement include aircraft utilisation, expected maintenance intervals, future maintenance costs and the aircraft’s condition. The associated forecast costs are discounted to their present value, the effect of which is not considered to be material. The Group considers that there is no reasonably possible change to a single assumption that would have a material impact on the provisions, however a combination of changes in multiple assumptions may.


a Determining the lease term of contracts with renewal and termination options

The Group determines the lease term as the non-cancellable term of the lease, together with any periods covered by an option to extend the lease if it is reasonably certain to be exercised, or any periods covered by an option to terminate the lease, if it is reasonably certain not to be exercised. The Group applies judgement in evaluating whether it is reasonably certain whether or not to exercise the option to renew or terminate the lease. Such judgement includes consideration of fleet plans which underpin approved business plans and historical experience regarding the extension of leases. After the commencement date, the Group re-assesses the lease term if there is a significant event or change in circumstances that affects the Group’s ability to exercise or not to exercise the option to renew or to terminate. Further information is given in note 14.

14 Leases (extract)

a Amounts recognised in the Consolidated balance sheet

Property, plant and equipment includes the following amounts relating to right of use assets:

1 Amounts with a net book value of €365 million (2020: €217 million) were reclassified from ROU assets to Owned Property, plant and equipment at the cessation of the respective leases. The assets reclassified relate to leases with purchase options that were grandfathered as ROU assets upon transition to IFRS 16, for which the Group had been depreciating over the expected useful life of the aircraft, incorporating the purchase option.

2 For details regarding the impairment charge on fleet assets refer to the Alternative performance measures section.

Interest-bearing long-term borrowings includes the following amount relating to lease liabilities:

b Amounts recognised in the Consolidated income statement

During 2020 the IASB issued ‘COVID-19 related rent concessions – amendment to IFRS 16 Leases’ to provide a practical expedient to lessees from applying IFRS 16 guidance on lease modification accounting for rent concessions for those lease modifications arising as a direct result of COVID-19. During 2021, the IASB extended the period for the application of the practical expedient.

The Group has applied this practical expedient to all such modifications in the preparation of the consolidated financial statements. The net impact on the Income statement for 2021 has been a credit of €8 million (2020: credit of €2 million) reflecting the changes to lease payments that arose from such concessions.

c Amounts recognised in the Consolidated cash flow statement

The Group had total cash outflows for leases of €1,912 million in 2021 (2020: €1,997 million).

The Group had total cash inflows associated with sale and leaseback transactions of €213 million in 2021 (2020: €898 million).

The Group is exposed to future cash outflows (on an undiscounted basis) as at December 31, 2021, for which no amount has been recognised in relation to leases not yet commenced to which the Group is committed, of €nil (2020: €183 million).

d Maturity profile of the lease liabilities

The maturity profile of the lease liabilities is disclosed in note 27f.

e Extension options

The Group has certain leases which contain extension options exercisable by the Group prior to the non-cancellable contract period. Where practicable, the Group seeks to include extension options in new leases to provide operational flexibility. The Group assesses at lease commencement whether it is reasonably certain to exercise the extension options.

The Group is exposed to future cash outflows (on an undiscounted basis) as at December 31, 2021, for which no amount has been recognised, for potential extension options of €795 million (2020: €998 million) due to it not being reasonably certain that these leases will be extended.

26 Provisions (extract)

Restoration and handback provisions

The provision for restoration and handback costs is maintained to meet the contractual maintenance and return conditions on aircraft held under lease. The provision also includes an amount relating to leased land and buildings where restoration costs are contractually required at the end of the lease. Such costs are capitalised within ROU assets. The provision is long-term in nature, typically covering the leased asset term, which for aircraft is up to 12 years.

Included within the release of unused restoration and handback provisions is an amount of €7 million relating to the reversal of contractual lease provisions, which represent the estimation of the cost to fulfil the handback conditions associated with the leased aircraft that had been permanently stood down and impaired during the year ended December 31, 2020, which have subsequently been stood back up with a resultant impairment reversal during the year ended December 31, 2021.

Where amounts are finalised and the uncertainty relating to these provisions removed, the associated liability is reclassified to either current or non-current Other creditors, dependent on the expecting timing of settlement.

27 Financial risk management objectives and policies (extract)

f Liquidity risk (extract) The following table analyses the Group’s (outflows) and inflows in respect of financial liabilities and derivative financial instruments into relevant maturity groupings based on the remaining period at December 31 to the contractual maturity date. The amounts disclosed in the table are the contractual undiscounted cash flows and include interest.